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  • HR Heartbeat: How to keep workplace political debates at bay, improve LGBTQ+ inclusivity, and…

HR Heartbeat: How to keep workplace political debates at bay, improve LGBTQ+ inclusivity, and…

Get your HR headlines in a hurry and stay on top of all the latest employment insights.

First published on Thursday, Jun 06, 2024

Last updated on Thursday, Jun 06, 2024

4 min read

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

How to keep political debates at bay in the workplace

Tuesday night kicked off the first TV debate between Labour leader Kier Stamer and current Conservative leader Rishi Sunak. And it’s fair to say things got a little heated…

But as an employer, how can you make sure fiery political debates stay on ITV and not in your workplace?

Your employees will likely have differing opinions ahead of the upcoming General Election in July. But setting boundaries for what’s appropriate work chat and what’s not is key if you want to keep the office harmonious.

You can’t control what your employees choose to discuss, but you can set ground rules for political activity in the workplace and hold employees accountable for breaches. If you do choose to do this, however, you must be equal and fair in your treatment of all staff—regardless of which political party they support.

Settle your pre-election jitters! For fast general election advice, ask our instant advice tool BrAInbox: Can I stop employees from talking about the General Election in work?

Pride Month 2024: 39% of LGBTQ+ employees feel more isolated than 5 years ago

June marks the return of Pride Month—a time to come together to recognise and celebrate the global LGBTQ+ community.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which sparked the fight against LGBTQ+ marginalisation and discrimination across the globe.

Great strides have been made for workplace equality since then, including the listing of sexual orientation discrimination and gender reassignment discrimination as protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

But, research by Randstad shows that we still have room to improve, with 39% of LGBTQ+ employees feeling more isolated in their jobs than they did five years ago.

Not only is supporting your LGBTQ+ employees in your best interest from a moral standpoint, but there’s also a strong business case for it. Research shows that [Gen Z employees, the future of our workforce, are actively seeking companies that are LGBTQ+-friendly.)

So to grow your team, retain top performers, and improve workplace culture, it’s essential you focus efforts on diversity, equality & inclusion.

For more support on this topic, ask BrAInbox: How can I make the workplace more inclusive of LGBTQ+ staff?

Labour’s new employment law manifesto

In more general election news, the Labour Party released an updated employment law manifesto this week called 'Labour's plan to make work pay—delivering a new deal for working people.'

There are some key differences between the first and second versions employers must be aware of.

The latest version includes commitments to: - Require employers with 250+ employees to produce a menopause action plan - Require employers with 250+ employees to publish both disability and ethnicity pay gap reports - Give self-employed people the right to receive a written contract - Strengthen the law on tips and allow workers to decide how tips are allocated - Encourage employers to sign up to the "Dying to Work" charter to support employees with a terminal illness - Work with relevant parties to examine what AI means for work, jobs, and skills

Another important change is that their manifesto no longer includes a commitment to immediately increasing the national minimum wage to £10 per hour or extending maternity and paternity leave. Instead, it promises to make parental leave a day one right.

For more instant support, ask BrAInbox: What are the main political parties' plans for HR if they win the General Election?

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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